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Traditions

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Traditions Rebecca Olivia Jones Grandma used flashing colorful lights and handfuls of tinsel like a grotesque costume on her Christmas tree. I loved its tacky design. I watched it before I fell asleep on the couch the night before our Boxing Day. My brother chose to sleep on the floor to be nearer the presents waiting under and all around the tree. Grandma was very democratic in her gift giving to all her younger grandchildren. Five of us were one year apart; Pam 10, Becky 9, Patrick 8, Byron 7, and Danny 6. We each received a large box filled with a bunch of recycled smaller boxes. Grandma would even re-use Tampax boxes for the smallest gifts. Pam and I were thrilled to receive, for example, a doll, a rhinestone necklace, fuzzy slippers and a box…

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Winter Solstice 2021

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Winter Solstice 2021 By M.A. Dooley This blessed day when the light returns, I stand on the mountain of my home  Grounded at 7:59 AM and look up.  The round moon wanes floating over  Saucer clouds docked in the west.  A soft haze hangs between me and my Shire, Layered hillocks of veiled emerald,  Taste wet and lush as if the drought is over.  The sun rises behind a filter of grey Cotton balls connected at fluffy centers like  Fat caterpillars in the sky.  When the time rings for a celestial split,  A tear in the cotton, A thin sliver of blue blinks open  And the sun sears my eyes  Carving the womb of awakening. I am the field of green softened by one ray, I am the strong back of the moon,  Light as the…

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A Little Louder, Please

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. A Little Louder, Please Susan Zahl Bono Christmas 2005 I must be going deaf. It’s the season when yuletide TV ads are louder and brighter than the shows they’re interrupting, but I don’t seem to be hearing their message. December is swinging into its second week and I haven’t bought any presents. Last weekend, my husband wrestled the fake tree into the living room and wrapped it with lights, but if that’s as far as we get, I’m not going to be heartbroken about it. At night with those little lights glowing, I can almost forget the ornaments are missing. These are my dark ages. My kids are too old to believe in Santa and too young to make grandchildren. They stopped caring about trees and holiday trappings about the time we gave in to their…

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Silence For The Soul

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Silence For The Soul By Sarah Horton Silence for the Soul  is our tradition, created to welcome us into the deeper doorways to the heart. It is timed around the changing of the seasons. We gather in silence for a variety of meditation practices as individual as the people who come:  sitting, walking the labyrinth, indoors, outdoors, eyes open, eyes shut, journaling, more sitting. We start with intention and breathing together. We end by coming together in a circle for the breaking of bread, homemade soup, and soft sharing.   I have been doing this on a regular basis with two other friends of the heart since the “2012 ending-of-the-world” or simply an ending. This was our new-beginning-offering and continues as one. There will be anywhere from the three-of-us regulars to fifteen other souls to hold the circle of magic and light…

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Dinner Lines

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Dinner Lines By M.A. Dooley Empty lines without a script, Two old lovers sit stiff like bricks   Empty lines planked blue wood top, Inviting ages of warmth and weight.   Warmth and weight, young bricks cool, Purpose wanted held at bay.   Warmth and weight, mason’s hands Stack staggered bonds, build a wall.   Build a wall, the server piles Flowers, wine, the table splits.   Build a wall to be broken down With drink, pleasure, taste and texture.   Taste and texture laughter blooms, Edges soften like molten stone.   Taste and texture spills red wine Dripping, seeping fills empty lines.   Empty lines, hushed hands held, Old lovers’ warmth and weight meld.  M.A. Dooley is an architect and writer from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma County, and the Sierra Nevadas. Dooley has been…

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Dust to Dust

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Dust to Dust By Brenda Bellinger This post happens to fall on what would have been my mother’s 86th birthday if she were still with us. She passed away thirteen years ago, yet I often feel her presence. Recently, I was dusting a small antique genie lamp that belonged to her mother, my grandmother. Made of white china, its glaze bears the spiderwebbing of many tiny cracks. Miraculously, the hurricane glass and original brown paper shade, though faded, are both still intact. As I carefully pushed a corner of the dust cloth through the curled handle, I thought of all the times this had been done before. Both my mother and grandmother were fastidious housekeepers. Myself? Not so much. I wonder at what point this lamp will cease to hold its significance. A time will come when…

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Eye Feast

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Eye Feast By Julie Wilder-Sherman How I love the ritual of the famliest day of the year. My favorite month and favorite day. So much planning. So much work. So much expense. All of it welcomed enthusiastically by me. The long folding table is taken out of the garage, locked into balance and steadiness, then cleaned. The fall-themed table cloth scattered with a pattern of dark green, yellow and brown leaves on a tan background with acorns and pinecones around the edges is spread out on the long table. Napkin rings, the only time I use them, encase the small thick linen face towels of red and yellow, placed in the center of each plate which sits upon gold-colored chargers I bought on sale at Kohl’s.  The gravy boat and fancy dishes not used in a…

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Circles of Life . . . Circles of Death

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Circles of Life . . . Circles of Death by Peter Perez Just as the sun circles the globe each day, and the moon circles the globe each month, so do we follow the paths and orbits of our lives, crossing and intersecting the family, friends and events that crossroad our voyage. It is the choices that we make at those crossroads that put us on our journey and lead us to the next adventure. To be willing to accept your instincts is what keeps life fresh and exciting. And as one explores life, so must we be prepared for the next adventure . . . death. Our ancestors believed that death was the purpose of life and the beginning of the next evolution of spirit . . . in another dimension. Embracing Death gives more…

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Illinois Autumn Sunset

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Illinois Autumn Sunset  by Deb Fenwick Sitting on the back porch after dinner during an autumn sunset requires fleece. Maybe a light blanket. A cup of tea is also a good idea. Don’t underestimate the importance of warmth.  Watching pink clouds stretch and yawn as they disappear below rooftops makes you appreciate them more. Don’t get distracted by utility poles that puncture the view. Instead, shift your gaze upward. Tilt your head a little higher to see if you can find an empty patch of sky. Inhale deeply when you do. Talking occasionally with your love, leave blank spaces in conversations. Pause and leave room to ponder. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you know every story he has to tell. Don’t anticipate his response. Listen for what’s new as the birch leaves fall. Also,…

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Memory of a ‘giorno dei morti’ in Italy

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Memory of a ‘giorno dei morti’ in Italy by Simona Carini What I remember most about that day is the cold wind. It was blowing strongly, and yet it could not push away the heavy low clouds and wipe the sky clear, so it was dark in the early afternoon. The cypresses lining the gravel path from the cemetery’s heavy iron gate to the chapel swayed as if wailing unconsolably. A group of people had walked the narrow road from the village to the cemetery in a procession led by the priest, Don Gabriele, imposing in his black cassock, which swirled around his legs at the mercy of the biting wind. A child then, I was terrified not of the cemetery, which I had been visiting regularly with my father since an early age, but of…